[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]

Re: [K12OSN] Booting older thin clients

Running Linux from the local hard drive won't be much different than running Windows from the local hard drive, so your experience is 'normal'. At 450mhz, the machines will run, but things won't be snappy.

The REAL power of LTSP is when you install it on a fast, modern computer and then plug old machines in as clients and applications run via the clients run lightning fast, because they're actually running on the server, but appearing on the client. Plus, you hook up another old client and it seems fast, too. And another, and another, and so on.

Understanding the concept is sometimes difficult for people who are used to thinking in Windows' "one computer for each person" terms; it's even more difficult for non-technical people to grasp, perhaps not even worth trying to explain. But show it to them and they'll get it, whether they understand it or not.

As to the fast server part, the cost of fast drops daily. Right now, you can go to Best Buy and get a $600 HP box that will support 8-10 client machines. That's for a dual-core box with 1GB of RAM; add another gig of RAM for $100 and you can double the number of clients it will support.

So, borrow a fast machine if you must, or bring one from home. Use at least a 7200RPM drive with 8MB cache in it (sounds like you've got this kind of drive already). Use that for the server, and use your 450mhz machines as clients to that. Then you'll see speedy performance.

One more thing: When you show this off to people, be sure you've brought up the popular applications beforehand, so that they're in cached memory. The first time (after boot) an app is loaded, it will be slower because it has to be loaded from the disk. All subsequent loads will be from cache and will happen quickly, e.g., from cache, OpenOffice.org takes about 2.5 seconds to load, so that's what the clients will get.


Kemp, Levi wrote:
Ok I have to ask at the risk of sounding ignorent. I asumed that Linux was going to be running a great deal faster on some of my older systems than it is. Maybe its the hardware, or it could be the setup. I havn't set them up as diskless yet because we need to familiarize ourselves with everything first. Aside from that we have a lot of Compaq iPaqs 450Mhz with Ram ranging from 128 to 256. They are PXE capable but right now I'm running it off the local HD, varying amounts 20GB 40GB and 80GB, all Western Digital 7200RPM drives. They don't appear to be doing much better then XP is and if I can't show that it will be worth it I won't be able to get the Admin to move on the project. Any suggestions? Should I just set up a diskless and see for myself?


From: k12osn-bounces redhat com on behalf of "Terrell Prudé Jr."
Sent: Thu 3/1/2007 10:18 AM
To: Support list for open source software in schools.
Subject: Re: [K12OSN] Booting older thin clients

I have one 3Com 3C905B NIC with a bootrom from disklessworkstations, and it works just great.  It's installed in a Pentium-166 w/ 32MB DRAM.  The only reason that I didn't order more is that we have a bunch of Dell OptiPlex GX1's that support PXE-booting.  :-)


_______________________________ Do you GNU!? Microsoft Free since 2003 <http://www.gnu.org/> --the ultimate antivirus protection!

Michael Blinn wrote: Thank you - I ordered a test batch of bootrom NICs from disklessworkstations and will be booting old machines soon! Regards, Michael Petre Scheie wrote:

No, it's part of the x86 architecture, the same way it 'knows' to ask the floppy drive or hard drive for some sort of boot code. I've got a 486 from 1994 or so with a bootrom NIC and it boots just fine (I just use it for showing off). Any PC will do. Petre Michael Blinn wrote:

Yeah, my adult users would lose the CDs (; Does the NIC with bootrom route require a semi-new BIOS that can recognize a NIC as a boot device? If not, from a purely intellectual standpoint, how does the computer know to boot from it? Thanks Petre, Michael Petre Scheie wrote:

You can boot a thin client from a CD, just like you can boot one from a floppy disk. And you can still use the CD drive and the floppy drive for Local Device Access (LDA). But there are some tradeoffs. First, to use the CD or floppy drive, users will have to remove the boot CD/floppy, which means they're going to lose the CD/floppy or scratch/break it or forget to put it back in, etc. If your users are all adults, this might, MIGHT be manageable; but if your users are kids, I think you'll find it frustrating. BTW, LDA does not support music CDs in the clients. You can buy a NIC with a bootrom for $20 at disklessworkstations.com. These are great, and you never have to worry about losing the boot media. Of course, using an etherboot CD or floppy is cheaper, so it really depends on what your priority is.

_______________________________________________ K12OSN mailing list K12OSN redhat com https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn For more info see <http://www.k12os.org> <http://www.k12os.org/>

_______________________________________________ K12OSN mailing list K12OSN redhat com https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn For more info see <http://www.k12os.org> <http://www.k12os.org/>


K12OSN mailing list
K12OSN redhat com
For more info see <http://www.k12os.org>

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]